Vehicle regulation

Vehicle regulation

All businesses that move people and goods across the UK and around the world are affected by complex UK and EU rules and regulations affecting transport.

Vehicle regulation overlaps with a multitude of other areas of regulatory enforcement, such as health and safety, environmental, VOSA requirements and criminal road traffic legislation.

There are thousands of UK road-related deaths every year, often as a result of driving whilst at work.

All businesses must ensure their fleets are well maintained and that their commercial drivers are properly trained and given sufficient time to complete their duties.

Occupational road risk appears very high on the health and safety agenda, as the police and other regulators, including the HSE, increase their investigations into work-related road deaths.

With growing bad press concerning poor driving practices among foreign lorry drivers in the UK, VOSA is using prosecutions and enforcement action to raise the profile of regulatory compliance in this area, meaning close scrutiny of businesses can only increase.

In addition to assisting with work related road risk, we understand the importance of the three pre-requisites to hold an Operator Licence and the strict legal requirements for holding and conducting a business with an O-Licence.

We will work with you to achieve the best commercial outcome from any investigation or enquiry, and to keep your fleet and drivers on the road.

We can:

  • interpret complex vehicle and driving regulations (for example drivers' hours)
  • represent you and your staff, including competent persons, at public inquiries where your licence is being challenged
  • advise operating an O-Licence and demonstrating compliance with the main O-Licence requirements (including financial standing, a safe fleet and technical competence)
  • represent you at VOSA investigations and defending prosecutions
  • defend directors and senior managers on driving offences, including driving on foreign licences and the prosecution of foreign drivers
  • provide representation in court for driving and road traffic prosecutions, including overloading, construction and use offences
  • advise on the carriage of dangerous goods, including international transport, livestock haulage, and the carriage of waste and associated registrations/licences
  • consider occupational road safety policies for staff driving all types of vehicles for business use and support to businesses following accidents involving driving whilst at work
  • advise on the overlap between Operator Licence applications and planning consents

Work highlights

  • Representing a large UK plc in respect of a VOSA investigation into overweight vehicles which considered the policies, procedures and training provided to employees
  • Reviewing the VOSA audit of a large logistics operation following a full-scale investigation into tachograph offences, including representation and mitigation at court
  • Representing a large meat processing and logistics company in its appearance and defence before a public inquiry for the second time in 12 months, and at which the continuation of its O-licence was at serious risk. Advising on strategy to demonstrate competence going forward and retaining O-licence without suspension
  • Advising a leading global car manufacturer on compliance with EU and UK licensing legislation, tyre labeling obligations and vehicle type approval
  • Advising a large online retailer concerning warning label requirements under the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations, including the relevant documentation required by the operator